Brookfield Renewable Acquires 351 MW Portfolio of 19 Hydroelectric Facilities in New England
HAMILTON, BERMUDA--(Marketwire - Dec. 21, 2012) -
All amounts in U.S. dollars unless otherwise indicated
Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners L.P. (TSX:BEP.UN) ("Brookfield Renewable") today announced an agreement to acquire a portfolio of 19 hydroelectric generating stations in Maine from a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC for a total enterprise value of approximately $760 million, subject to typical closing adjustments.
The portfolio consists of 19 hydroelectric facilities and 8 upstream storage reservoir dams primarily on the Kennebec, Androscoggin and Saco rivers in Maine, with an aggregate capacity of 351 megawatts and expected average annual generation of approximately 1.6 million megawatt hours. The portfolio is one of the region's largest independently-owned hydro portfolios of scale and includes the two largest hydroelectric facilities in Maine. The acquisition offers Brookfield Renewable a strong fit with its existing 103 MW of operating capacity on the same river systems. All output from the facilities is currently sold into the New England wholesale power market. A number of facilities in the portfolio benefit from a recent modernization program that will enhance reliability, and increase capacity and long-term generation. All of the facilities have FERC licenses, in most cases expiring after 2025 and generally until 2036 or 2048.
"These proven generation assets are an ideal investment for us as they complement our existing hydro fleet in Maine where we have a long operating history," said Richard Legault, President and CEO of Brookfield Renewable. "This high-quality, scale portfolio increases our footprint in the attractive New England market to nearly 1,000 MW of installed capacity. This transaction also provides a unique opportunity to leverage our operating platform while positioning us to participate in rising electricity prices over time."
The portfolio has a total of $700 million of non-recourse project debt in place. The debt indentures include a requirement to seek the consent of a majority of bondholders for change of control, in the absence of which the debt is to be repurchased pursuant to the terms of the applicable indentures. Brookfield Renewable would fund the purchase price, and repurchase of the existing debt, if applicable, from available cash resources and committed credit facilities.
As with previous investments, Brookfield Renewable expects to have institutional partners co-invest alongside it for up to 50% of the portfolio through a private fund sponsored by Brookfield Asset Management.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013.
Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners (TSX:BEP.UN) operates one of the largest publicly-traded, pure-play renewable power platforms globally. Its portfolio is primarily hydroelectric and totals approximately 5,300 megawatts of installed capacity. Diversified across 69 river systems and 11 power markets in the United States, Canada and Brazil, the portfolio generates enough electricity from renewable resources to power more than two million homes on average each year. With a virtually fully-contracted portfolio of high-quality assets and strong growth prospects, the business is positioned to generate stable, long-term cash flows supporting regular and growing cash distributions to shareholders. For more information, please visit www.brookfieldrenewable.com.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This news release contains forward-looking statements and information, within the meaning of Canadian securities laws, concerning the business and operations of Brookfield Renewable. Forward-looking statements may include estimates, plans, expectations, opinions, forecasts, projections, guidance or other statements that are not statements of fact. Forward-looking statements in this News Release include statements regarding the acquisition of 19 hydroelectric generating stations in Maine (the "portfolio"), the acquisition financing and debt funding, ownership structure, the portfolio's expected long-term production and long-term value potential, its power sales opportunities, the attractiveness of the regional power market, the receipt of regulatory approvals and the expected time of closing . Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects", "scheduled", "estimates", "intends", "anticipates", "believes", "potentially", "tends", "continue", "attempts", "likely", "primarily", "approximately", "endeavours", "pursues", "strives", "seeks" or variations of such words and phrases, or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved. Although we believe that our anticipated future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements and information in this News Release are based upon reasonable assumptions and expectations, we cannot assure you that such expectations will prove to have been correct. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements and information as such statements and information involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from anticipated future results, performance or achievement expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and information.
Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated or implied by forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: the risk that the conditions precedent to be met, and the regulatory and third party approvals to be obtained, for the acquisition to close, are not met or obtained, changes to hydrology at our hydroelectric stations or in wind conditions at our wind energy facilities; the risk that counterparties to our contracts do not fulfill their obligations, and as our contracts expire, we may not be able to replace them with agreements on similar terms; increases in water rental costs (or similar fees) or changes to the regulation of water supply; our operations being highly regulated and exposed to increased regulation which could result in additional costs; the risk that our concessions and licenses will not be renewed; increases in the cost of operating our plants; our failure to comply with conditions in, or our inability to maintain, governmental permits; equipment failure; dam failures and the costs of repairing such failures; force majeure events; exposure to uninsurable losses; adverse changes in currency exchange rates; our inability to access interconnection facilities and transmission systems;
occupational, health, safety and environmental risks; disputes and litigation; losses resulting from fraud, other illegal acts, inadequate or failed internal processes or systems, or from external events; general industry risks relating to the North American and Brazilian power market sectors; advances in technology that impair or eliminate the competitive advantage of our projects; newly developed technologies in which we invest not performing as anticipated; labour disruptions and economically unfavourable collective bargaining agreements; risks related to operating in Brazil; our inability to finance our operations; the operating and financial restrictions imposed on us by our loan, debt and security agreements; changes in our credit ratings; changes to government regulations that provide incentives for renewable energy; our inability to identify and complete sufficient investment opportunities; the growth of our portfolio; our inability to develop existing sites or find new sites suitable for the development of greenfield projects; risks associated with the development of our generating facilities and the various types of arrangements we enter into with communities and joint venture partners; Brookfield Asset Management's inability to source acquisition opportunities for us and our lack of access to all renewable power acquisitions that Brookfield Asset Management identifies; our lack of control over all our operations; our obligations to issue equity or debt for future acquisitions and developments; a delay or inability to achieve a listing of our limited partnership units on the New York Stock Exchange; and foreign laws or regulation to which we become subject as a result of future acquisitions in new markets.
We caution that the foregoing list of important factors that may affect future results is not exhaustive. The forward-looking statements represent our views as of the date of this News Release and should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any date subsequent to December 21, 2012, the date of this News Release. While we anticipate that subsequent events and developments may cause our views to change, we disclaim any obligation to update the forward-looking statements, other than as required by applicable law. For further information on these known and unknown risks, please see "Risk Factors" in our most recent Annual Information Form available on our website at www.brookfieldrenewable.com and filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners L.P.
Director, Investor Relations
Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners L.P.
Director, Corporate Communications